Of all the places I have been in life, there is nowhere like home. Would you agree? The encouraging words in the Bible are that death is really going to our true home for the believer in Jesus!
The Bible tells us that the reality of death is something to be pondered rather than avoided since we all must face it. The wisdom of King Solomon is shown in Ecc. 7:2 when he says,
“It is better to go to a funeral than a feast.For death is the destiny of every person,
and the living should take this to heart.”
The wise person then should think deeply about death and what happens after it. In this way, a person can maximize life and be prepared for death.
As I was thinking about this, I was encouraged by something the Psalmist said,
“Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of his saints.” (Ps. 116:15)
What does it mean for the death of his saints to be “precious”?
“The point is not that God delights in or finds satisfaction in the death of his followers! The psalmist, who has been delivered from death, affirms that the life-threatening experiences of God’s followers get God’s attention, just as a precious or rare object would attract someone’s eye.” (NET Bible note)
God is intimately aware of the circumstances and the events related to the death of one of his saints. God does not take our death lightly.
Additionally, Knight suggests the following,
“As the Jerusalem Bible renders it, ‘The death of the devout costs Yahweh dear’. That is to say, the Lord feels the death of his Covenant folk. He mourns with those who mourn, because he is actually present with them through the bonds of the Covenant.”
In addition to God assigning a precious value to the death of his committed followers, mourning with them, and being present with them when death comes, Dahood has suggested,
“This statement that Yahweh puts great value on the death of his faithful assumes that he will take them to himself when they die.”
The possibility of the thought of God taking us to be with him at death makes me think of a couple of things Jesus stated in the NT. In Jn 11:25 Jesus said,
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”
And in Jn 14:1-3 Jesus said,
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
The NT describes the death of a saint as going to sleep (1 Thes. 4:13-18), going on a journey (2 Tim. 4:6) and going home into the very presence of Jesus (Jn 14:1-3). The end of physical life is very challenging and hard. God, though, is intimately aware of our suffering, is present with us through death and will take us home as we transition from earth to heaven. These truths should give us magnificent hope as the end of our life nears.
Father, thank you for not leaving us alone at the time of death. Thank you that our faithfulness, life, and death are precious to you. Thank you for loving me and for the promise to personally escort me home to heaven when I die.
Following Jesus with you,